With a good conveyancer, buying or selling a property can be a smooth process, but knowing how the process works can reduce on stress and help manage any difficulties that arise.
The best way to get started is to dive right in, so here’s a short guide to literally everything you need to know about conveyancing.
Agreement to Buy/Sell
Once the buyer makes an offer on the property and the seller accepts, both parties hire solicitors to handle the conveyancing. The buyer also needs to arrange a property survey and sort out their mortgage. The buyer’s solicitor formally instructs the seller to start the selling process and supply the property contract pack.
The buyer’s solicitor reviews the contract pack, discusses the contents with the buyer, and raises any queries the buyer has with the seller. Those queries might be non-standard things the buyer wants the seller to do, such as leaving certain pieces of furniture in the property (although fixtures like baths, sinks, etc. are normally included; appliances etc. are not) or confirming the seller will make necessary repairs. Just as often they’re the result of the searches the buyer’s solicitor carries out: checks with the Land Registry, local authority, and environmental agencies designed to spot any potential problems like flooding risks or boundary disputes.
If you want more detailed information, sites like SAM Conveyancing will tell you literally everything you need to know about conveyancing.
Once all queries are resolved and concerns addressed, the buyer’s conveyancer drafts a transfer deed and completion form and sends them to the seller’s solicitor to finalise. The buyer needs a confirmed mortgage offer before contracts can be exchanged, so it’s a good idea to start this as soon as possible after making an offer on a property. This is also when the deposit is paid.
If the buyer is selling their own home too, the deposit from that sale often becomes the deposit on their new property. This is part of the property ‘chain’ and can cause delays if there are complications with that sale.
This is the home stretch. As long as the seller doesn’t run into any difficulties with their next purchase (the ‘onward chain’), money and keys change hands, and the property is officially the buyer’s! All that’s left is to move in.